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Issue 24 The Big Split

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Issue 24 is out now and includes:

 

PAIN IT BLACK – THE BIG SPLIT

Turning the clock back half a century, Doug Nicolson and Tony McDonald conduct an in-depth review of the first major watershed in British speedway history – the acrimonious split between the National league and Provincial League that saw second division tracks run ‘black’ outside the SCB’s jurisdiction in 1964 and ultimately led to the formation of the British League a year later. We focus on the main men behind the long-running saga and what they said, the disputes and legal threats that defined this turbulent era, and reflect on the repercussions of the warring factions.

 

LEGEND: ERIC CHITTY

Eric Chitty, Canada’s Captain Fantastic, won three unofficial world championships during the war years and, as John Chaplin recalls, he became a big favourite at West Ham on and off the track.

 

CYRIL ROGER INTERVIEW

Not that he would admit it, but Cyril Roger was one of England’s great post-war discoveries who became a big star and won league titles with three different clubs, Exeter, New Cross and his last club, Southampton, before retiring in 1963. Tony McDonald ventured into rural Kent to catch up with the 92-year-old, oldest living World Finalist and his family.

 

LEN READ INTERVIEW

At 96, Len Read is one of the sport’s oldest living ex-riders. Here, the late starter in speedway, recalls his long-distance travels that took him from Norwich to Singapore, Plymouth to Liverpool.

 

Q&A WITH DAVE GIFFORD

The New Zealand international made his UK debut for Newcastle at the start of the British League era in 1965 and had six seasons with the Diamonds. When speedway closed at Brough Park at the end of 1970, ‘Giffy’ spent a season racing in California, before returning to Britain for spells with Wolverhampton, Coatbridge (he was Tigers’ No.1 at second division level in 1974) and Berwick, where he had four seasons and then decided to quit in 1978 at the age of 34.

 

WHITE ROSE HOTSPOT

The sport has known good times and bad at a host of Yorkshire tracks. Here Philip Dalling highlights to two less documented venues in the county, at Wombwell and Lundwood.

 

PETER CRAVEN by BARRY BRIGGS

Our last issue commemorating the 50th anniversary of Peter Craven’s death went to press just as Barry Briggs was en route to New Zealand, but the four times World Champion was keen to pay tribute to his former friend and rival. We also report on the recent Craven plaque unveiling at Paradise Wildlife Park.

 

ALF WEEDON

Tribute to a man who has probably photographed more speedway riders and races than any other – Alf Weedon, who died on January 19, 2014, aged 93.

 

To order this single issue or to subscribe for a year for £16 in the UK, please visit http://www.retro-speedway.com

 

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